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Should you bath your fennec fox?

For species less common than reds and arctics.

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Should you bath your fennec fox?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:16 pm

The short answer is no, you should not bath your fennec. To elaborate you should not give your fennec a full bath. Their fur is much like rabbit fur and it will soak the water up like a sponge if submerged and soaped and take a very long time to dry. This can lead to matting of the fur and fungal skin infections. Both of these conditions can be stressful to treat. Vet's usually prescribe a medicated bath for fungus and matts are painful to try to brush out or stressful to have shaved out.

If you must wash a dirty fennec the best thing to do is spot clean the dirty areas with a damp cloth, using something like a gentle spray on or leave in shampoo(I still clean that with a water only cloth as well). Do not get them wet down to the skin unless you must. Do not stick them in a bowl/sink/tub full of water, where their bodies will be submerged any.

If you have a very filthy fennec for some reason, like babies covered in food, a fennec that wets the bed, or he's rolled in his litter box then you might give a water rinse but this should be avoided if at all possible. When my male rolled in his litter box and was stinky and sticky with pee, I was still able to just spray and wipe the dirty surface to freshen him up. But if you have a girl who peed in her sleep it may have soaked to the skin but will likely just be the rear area. So you can use more water to clean down to the skin but you will need to dry very thoroughly and the faster you can dry the batter.

While I have not fully bathed my fennec I have had a minor fungal issue anyway. He has a larger bowl of water for when he spills his smaller bowl and he had been stepping in it up to his wrists when he played at times. So one day I noticed lines at his wrists which looked odd but remembered he stepped in his water and though it was just from that but they didn't go away and slowly spread into a reaching meandering bare patch. By the time I was sure there was an issue it was during Beakers major illness and it didn't look sore or bother him.

So I moved his water to the corner out of the way and rubbed some coconut oil on his wrists. Thankfully that was enough and his hair grew back quickly and you can't even tell now.

Just thought I'd share a first hand account of how easily an issue can happen from getting wet, even just with the shorter wrist fur. He does still like to flip and dig at his smaller water but his paws don't get fully soaked like when he stepped in the big bowl, so all should be fine now.
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Re: Should you bath your fennec fox?

Postby pat » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:49 am

thank you Mary for sharing your good information. I do agree with you. I never bathed my foxes. they seem to have kept themselves clean.
i would comb them once in awhile when they shed.
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Re: Should you bath your fennec fox?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:54 pm

Ikigai does a good job keeping himself clean as well. It seems like most people don't bath reds but for some reason bathing fennecs is a lot more common but they are desert animals and not really meant to get wet. Or Mugwais in disguise, either way, don't get them wet, :D

I know breeders often have to wash the kits when they are first learning to eat mushy food, which I understand and kit fur is also different and dries better. Other than that soaking them should be avoided unless truly necessary. As a older kit I just spot cleaned Iki if he got something on him. Other than a brief phase of rolling in his litter box I've not had to worry about it with him as an adult. Sometimes male fennecs will make a habit of that, I'm glad he didn't. It was still easily cleaned with a damp rag or wipe, no need for a soaking bath.

Combing is a great way to help prevent mats. Brushes don't always get down to the skin which is where the mats start. If you do have mats, bathing will just make them worse. A lot of people make that mistake and think bathing will help remove mats.

Iki is starting to shed now but it seems to just be his outer coat so far. It's the softer and under coats fur that tends to come out in clumps and I'll help pull or brush those out for him.
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Re: Should you bath your fennec fox?

Postby pat » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:39 am

sounds like fennec grooming is similar to red fox family foxes grooming. have you tried putting a little oil or coconut oil on his fur first?
sometimes it helps, but not a miracle.

my foxes sometimes would groom each other.

when I did comb my foxes at shedding time. or if it look like they needed groomed. I use a ss comb.
I am sure you know this, but, when combing a fox, start from the bottom up on their fur.

I also found on my hair, I would comb from bottom up if I had any knots. it works better with this method. (I use to be beautician)

my aussie dog needs groomed. I try the best I can with him. he gets knots really bad sometimes. it takes a long time to trim him.
I will take him to a groomer, they have easier ways to groom and bath. all need now is time and money to do this

thnak you for sharing your informaton.
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Re: Should you bath your fennec fox?

Postby Ash » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:02 pm

Good to have more good info on fennec care out. ;)

When red foxes are kits they are not very hygenic, and will step in and lay in their waste all the time without even noticing. Also their food they'll smear everywhere. As they age, they become a lot more conscious of where their waste is, and avoid it.

You said Ikigai was similar to that, but not all fennecs are like him. Do the vast majority sleep in their waste? Or just some every once in a while? I remember Lasergrl's fennec Minnow would pee/poo in his bed and then sleep in it.
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Re: Should you bath your fennec fox?

Postby pat » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:16 am

Ash,

I agree with you about educating people on fennec foxes and of course all animals.
You and Mary have a lot of hands on experience with many different type animals. I do too, but, some of mine are/were different species than you and Mary have/had. I just hope people that want information will follow what you and mary advice. you know the old saying "experience is your best teacher"

I remember lasergrl mentioning about her fennec. sad, she don't post here anymore. icon-sad

I did litter train my foxes. which they did learn pretty quickly (for a fox) the marking is not as easy. unless the fox understands commands.
the only fox I have left is Donnie. He does use the litter box. I remember with Daryl (my marble) every once in a while I would see a little poop
in his enclosure. the other two used the litter also.


Mary,

I remember seeing a video awhile ago with a bunch of fennec foxes someone had. looked like they were in their own room, and used a kids swimming pool for a the litter pan. I can't remember what was in the kiddy pool. it might of been actual litter. but, the fennecs did use it.
Ikigai is so darn cute.

I did find a video on a fennec using a litter pan.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=wi ... ORM=VRDGAR
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Re: Should you bath your fennec fox?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:30 pm

I only put coconut oil on his wrists for the fungal issue. I've not had an issue with his shedding yet but his first real shed with adult fur was last fall. But I've seen a few people have to shave their reds due to matting, which could be better prevented if you are able to brush and comb them.

Ash wrote:Do the vast majority sleep in their waste? Or just some every once in a while? I remember Lasergrl's fennec Minnow would pee/poo in his bed and then sleep in it.


I think most don't wet the bed while sleeping but it's also not uncommon and it's not a big deal to them to mark the bed they sleep on. Ikigai used to wet the bed sometimes as a kit but they sleep more deeply while kits. He would wake up upset at being wet. On the other hand he does intentionally pee on his couch bed to mark it as his. I guess he doesn't lay on it while freshly wet but he does still sleep there. He doesn't get gross like during the litter box rolling phase. So I don't have to clean him over it, just wash the bed when it gets too marked up.

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